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Homecoming of the Indian hero Abhinandan Varthman 



Abhinandan Varthman

India is a diverse nation although it stands divided on religious and political grounds but when it comes to patriotism, the entire nation unites as one against the enemy. As we all know Kashmir continues to be the root cause of the feud between India and Pakistan with neither of the two nations ready to back out or give up. Soldiers have been fighting valiantly to keep our country safe, with some sacrificing their lives for the safety of their beloved motherland and the citizens of the country.  

Wing commander, Abhinandan Singh is one such hero from Indian Air Force. Post Pulwama attack, Indian Air Force carried out strikes at Balakot( city in Pakistan near LoC) , where the terror camps of Jaish-e-Mohamad existed, so as to avenge the brutal killing of their Indian brothers, the CRPF personnel killed at Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir 

After India’s surgical strike on 26th February 2019, it was the first since 1971 that the Indian Air Force entered the Pakistani territory, the Pakistani Army retaliated.  

On 27th February 2019, three Pakistani Air Force jets(F-16s) entered the Indian territories, but to their dismay, they were intercepted by 6 Indian Air Force Jets. One of the IAF jets, MIG 21 Bison, was driven by Abhinandan VarthmanVarthman shot one F-16 jet, which is considered much more powerful and superior than MIG 21 Bison which Varthman was flying.

When he was returning back, his jet was shot by the Pakistani Army following which he ejected from his jet. After ejection, he landed on Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and on landing, he asked the natives as to whether the place where he had landed was India or Pakistan? Initially the POK natives said he has landed in India to which Varthman raised pro nation slogans upon which he was beaten by the POK natives.  

The pilot of F-16 which was shot down by Abhinandan was also beaten by the mob upon landing, he was subsequently rescued by the Pakistani Army and taken to a hospital where he later succumbed to injuries.  

Meanwhile, Abhinandan fired some shots in the air with the pistol that he had and ran for about a kilometer. He destroyed the important documents that he carried by gulping some of them and dispersing the rest in a nearby water body, before being held captive by the Pakistani Army.  

Tensions increased between the two nations with Pakistan shutting all of its International Airports and India shutting down airports of Jammu, Srinagar, Chandigarh, Leh, Amritsar, Pathankot, Dehradun and Dharamshala.  

Videos of Abhinandan released by the Pakistani Army showed that the Indian brave heart very firmly and politely declined to provide any sort of information to them 

After being pressurized by India and many other nations, Pakistan decided to return Varthman and their PM, Imran Khan, called it as a gesture of peace, whereas India felt that Pakistan had no choice but to return the IAF Officer under Geneva Conventions.  

The Indian Air Force offered to provide a special plane for Indian pilot’s return to which Pakistani Army refused and instead decided to bring him to Wagah-Attari border via road.  

Expecting Abhinandan’s arrival at 4 p.m, the beating retreat ceremonies of both the neighboring nations were initially cancelled. The Pakistani Army organized its beating retreat ceremony thereby delaying the arrival of the Indian Officer. After a delay of almost 5-6 hours the Indian Officer finally arrived at Attari-Wagah border and crossed the gates and entered India. 

During the time that the Indian pilot spent in Pakistan Army’s custody, Indian citizens prayed for his safety and even the opposition parties supported and applauded the government’s stand.  

It was a matter of great pride for the entire nation at the bravery shown by the IAF Officer during his captivity. His shooting down of F-16 jet was nothing short of a miracle.  



The Kargil War: History and Timeline   



Late Prime Minister of India with the war heroes


“The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him”. Such is the thinking of the heroes protecting us day and night at the border. India and Pakistan have been fighting for more than 70 years, right from the day both the countries got their independence. While few of them are fought on the front foot, the majority of the wars fought are proxy. On 26th July 2019, one of the biggest wars fought between the two countries, The Kargil War, completed 2 decades. The Kargil War, like all other wars fought between India & Pakistanwas initiated by Pakistan and one must remember “Violence Begets Violence”.  

History of Kashmir 

The War history of both countries is horrifying. Both nations share the same issue or have the same reason for fighting with each other, that is, Jammu and Kashmir. Neither of the two is ready to give up its stake or claim on the state. According to the Instrument of Accession, Kashmir belonged to India as the then ruler of the state, Raja Hari Singh, willingly became a part of India in 1947. But even after this, one-third portion of Kashmir is occupied by Pakistan and is called POK by India. The rest, which is in India is called IOK or India Occupied Kashmir, in Pakistan. Today we shall discuss the Kargil War and pay respect and gratitude to the brave hearts who have laid down their lives for us and haven’t asked for anything in return.  


About Kargil   

Before knowing about the Kargil War, it is important to know about the place KargilKargil, as it is known today, was earlier called Purig. But its name was changed to Kargil. The name Kargil has a meaning. It is derived from the words Khar and rKil. While the former means castle, the latter signifies centre. Thus, Kargil means a place centering many kingdoms. Before 1947, the towns Kargil and Skardu were a part of British India, separated by a distance of 103 km. It was after 1947, after the partition of India and Pakistan, that Skardu became a part of Pakistan and Kargil was added to India.   


Before The Kargil War    

Both India and Pakistan have signed numerous treaties in order to reduce tension between the two countries and resolve disputes. As on 21st September 2012, 47 treaties have been signed between the two nations. Out of these 11 are related to the Kashmir issue. The one which was the most recent at that time was the Lahore Declaration. Ironically this agreement was signed just four months before the Kargil War. We would not explore the Lahore Declaration in-depth as of now, it is another story in itself, but will get a slight idea about this. According to the Lahore Declaration, an understanding or an agreement was made between the two nations regarding the development of atomic weapons and to ensure that no accidental and unauthorized use of nuclear weapons is done. The agreement was signed in view of atomic tests that both the nations conducted in the year 1998. It was assumed that the relations between both the nations would improve after signing of the Lahore Declaration. 

The Kargil War or Operation Vijay    

Before this war, there were less than the required number of soldiers guarding the 300 km Indian border, under an assumption that there is no tension at the border and that there is no need to have soldiers in large numbers at the border. There were several flaws on our side. The region, due to its terrain, was difficult to access and the technology back then wasn’t that advanced. Aerial equipment like drones were not even invented. Also, during winters, the borders of both the nations of that place were left unguarded because of extreme climatic conditions. So obviously Pakistan took advantage of this.    

Pakistani troops, in the month of February, infiltrated at 132 points within the Indian boundary. The areas were between Zojila and Leh, MushkohDrasKargilBatalik and Turtuk sub-sectors, to be more precise.    

It was on the 3rd of May, 1999, that local shepherds reported about this infiltration. The Army at first assumed these Pakistani troops to be Kashmiri Separatists and assured to send them back as early as possible. Little did they know that the magnitude of the planned attack was much larger.      

5th May 1999: Group of five soldiers lead by Captain Saurabh Kalia were sent to check this infiltration.    

9th May 1999: Army Ammunition Dump in Kargil damaged by Pakistan. 

26th May 1999: IAF launched airstrikes against the Pakistani Troops.    

27th May 1999: MiG-21 and MiG-27 shot down by Pakistan and Flt Lt Nachiketa taken as Prisoner of War.    

28th May 1999:  India’s Ml-17 shot down and four soldiers were killed.   

1st June 1999: Pakistan bombed NH1.   

6th June 1999: Indian Army retaliated by attacking the Pakistani troops in Kargil. 

9th June 1999: Two key positions re-captured by the Indian Army in Batalic Sector.    

13th June 1999: Indian Army secured Tololing in Dras.    

29th June 1999: Indian Army captured Point 5060 and Point 5100 near Tiger Hill. 

4th July 1999: Tiger Hill recaptured by Indian Army.    

5th July 1999:  Dras taken back by the Indian Army. Nawaz Sharif announced Pakistan’s withdrawal from Kargil.    

7th July 1999: Jubar Heights snatched back by India   

14th July 1999: Operation Vijay declared successful by the then Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee    

India won the Kargil War and forced Pakistan to return. We have mentioned Captain Saurabh Kalia and his five soldiers, let us know what happened to them.   

  Captain Saurabh Kalia    

 Troops were sent to combat the infiltration situation. Six soldiersLt Saurabh Kalia, Sepoys Arjun Ram, Bhanwar Lal BagariaBhika Ram, Moola Ram, and Naresh Sing were captured by Pakistanis and tortured to death. Captain Saurabh Kalia was the one who reported that the intrusion was done on a larger scale.  All of them were held captive by Pakistani Troops for 20 days. Their bodies were handed over on the 9th of June 1999 and the amount of torture that they were inflicted with was evident from the condition of their mutilated bodies. A person experiences enormous pain when he/she gets brushed off by a candle flame. As for those five soldiers, the pain that they experienced cannot be described in words. Before shooting them dead with bullets, their bodies were burnt with cigarettes, their eardrums were pierced with hot iron rods, eyes were punctured then removed, teeth broken, bones and skull fractured, lips, nose, limbs and private parts chopped off.    

Imagine the plight of the parents of these martyrs. Till date Captain Kalia’s father is awaiting justice for the gruesome murders of his son and other five soldiers.    

For this victory over Pakistan, 26th of July is celebrated as Kargil Vijay Diwas every year.   





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Indian Cricket Team: Title Sponsor to be changed from Oppo to Byju’s



Indian Team's title sponsor to be changed soon

The Indian Cricket Team is the most cricket playing nation all around the world and when there is popularly, money exists along with that only. And getting the sponsorship rights of the Indian Cricket Team’s Jersey is quite a massive thing and whenever it gets changes, headlines just revolve around this only.

In 2017, Chinese mobile phones brand Oppo paid a hefty amount of Rs 1079 crores to buy these right after pipping out their competitors Vivo by a huge margin of Rs 400 crores. However, in a report published by The Times of India claims that now the mobile makers have decided to take a move back in this and exit from the sponsorship rights as they find all these at an ‘extremely high’ and ‘unsustainable’ value.

Before Oppo, the rights were held by Star Network for sometime which was earlier preceded by Sahara for a very long time duration. Byju’s will continue to pay the same amount of money that Oppo used to pay per match till now. The amount that was being paid till now was Rs 4.61 crore per bilateral match and Rs 1.56 crore for an ICC event match or an Asia Cup game.

The sources that talked to TOI regards this said, “Basically, what Oppo has done is cut its losses. They’ve reassigned the rights to Byju’s. They will pay Byju’s a minor amount to help make the full payment while Byju’s will pay BCCI. The board will continue to get what is due to it.”

Byju’s contract will be there till 2022 as this is the minimum time period for which Oppo signed up for. Right now, the Indian Team is scheduled to play three T20Is, three ODIs and two Test matches against the West Indies which will be followed by a long home tour. Byju’s will take over Oppo in September during this home season only when South Africa will be visiting India.

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Apollo 11 completes a golden jubilee   



The three astronauts of Apollo 11


As kids, we have all studied about the first man who stepped on the moon. I am pretty sure none of us can forget that man. The name of the astronaut and the words he said are still engraved in the minds of every single human being. Neil Armstrong was the first human being who walked on the moon. Well, why are we discussing this? Actually, the first moon landing completes 5 decades this year. Landing on 20th July 1969, Apollo 11 had three astronauts as its prime members, Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin Buzz Aldrin. Today, we will discuss everything in detail about the first moon landing of human beings and Apollo 11.   


There is something that we all must know, that how and why did this mission, Apollo 11, came into existence? There is a big reason behind this mission of NASA.  

USA and USSR have been arch-rivals for quite a time now. For those of you who don’t know what USSR is, let me elaborate on this. Also known as the Soviet Union or Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, it was a union of multiple states from 1922-1991. With Russia acting as the supreme power, the present-day countries that became a part of this union were: Armenia, Moldova, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Russia. The Union broke up in 1991. Back in 1950, USSR was the largest country and a World Super Power.    

Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite, was launched by USSR in 1957. What followed this event was the going of the first man in space, that is, Yuri Gagarin, in 1961. This began the space race between the two superpowers of the World that is, USA and USSR.  

It was after 1957 that, the then President of USA, Dwight D. Eisenhower, established NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration). John F. Kennedy, who was the President of the USA in 1961, announced that the USA plans to send and land a man on the moon and bring him back to the earth safely.   

Post this, project Apollo was launched. Although Apollo 1 failed miserably and resulted in the death of the three onboard astronauts, NASA did not sit back. Proceeding step by step, they launched Apollo 7, Apollo 8, Apollo 9 and Apollo 10, in order to check various aspects like testing the lunar orbit, dress rehearsal, etc. By July 1969 Apollo 11 was ready for its launch.  

We have discussed the astronauts that set their voyage on the moon. Neil A. Armstrong was the commander, Michael Collins was the Command Module Pilot and Buzz Aldrin was the Lunar Module Pilot of the Apollo 11 mission.   

Who will step first?   

It wasn’t accidental that Neil Armstrong stepped first on the moon. This was all planned. There were several reports back then that Aldrin would be the first one to walk on the moon. Attempts were made to let Aldrin step first on the moon by trying this process with a simulator first. During this trial, Aldrin damaged the simulator while attempting to egress. In a bid to avoid any conflicts, Slayton told Aldrin that Armstrong, being the commander, will step first on the moon.   

The pre-launch was started months before the actual launch and the first module to arrive at the Kennedy Space Center was LM-5 on January 8, 1969.    


The launch took place from Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 9:32 a.m. Armstrong and Aldrin entered the lunar module, Eagle, which separated from Command Service Module, Colombia on July 20, 1969.   

Post landing, both the astronauts remained inside the module for two hours. They checked all the systems and configured the craft as well so that it stays. The Eagle was also equipped with a camera that was capturing everything live. On July 20th, 1969, at 11:56 p.m. Armstrong landed on the moon and what followed was the most epic statement, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”  

Post Landing  

The astronauts, post landing, collected samples of the soil of the moon and erected the flag of the USA. Also, memorial medallions were laid down. These medallions had the names of several astronauts, including Yuri Gagarin. A silicon disk containing goodwill messages from 73 countries, names of NASA leaders and congressional leaders was left.   

After 21.5 hours, the astronauts headed back to earth.   

On 24th July they landed into the Pacific Ocean after completing a historical journey.   



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Veteran Congress leader and three time Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit, passes away



Sheila Dikshit

New Delhi: Senior Congress leader and former New Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit passed away aged 81 years.

On Saturday morning, she was admitted in Escorts hospital in critical condition following a cardiac arrest. A team of multidisciplinary doctors then operated on her, following which her condition was stable. However, another cardiac arrest struck and at 3:55pm despite all resuscitative efforts she passed away.

Her cremation is scheduled Sunday 2pm in Delhi’s Nigam Bodh Ghat.

Dikshit was one of the longest serving Chief Minister of the capital serving 15 years in power from 1998 to 2013 after losing power to Aam Aadmi Party’s Arvind Kejriwal. However in 2019 Lok Sabha elections Congress party, under her leadership, managed to push ruling AAP to third place on 5 of the 7 national capital seats in terms of voteshare but still lagging behind PM Modi’s Bhartiya Janata Party.

She was also known to be a close aide of Rajiv Gandhi serving as a cabinet minister during the time.

Delhi deputy CM Manish Sisodia has declared a 2-day state mourning for the former CM.

PM Modi was one of the first leader to condole her death on Twitter followed by other leaders.

Swaraj, former Minister of External Affairs, called her opponent in politics but a “friends in personal life.”

Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi calling her death a beloved daughter of Congress party.

Bollywood star Akshay Kumar among other actors too condoled her death.

Delhi CM Kejriwal called her demise ”a great loss for city.”

President Ram Nath Kovind too paid condolences for her demise.

Along with leaders, many Twitter users condoled death of one of most notable politicians of capital.

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ISRO Chandrayaan 2: About it; Why was it called off? What is planned next?



ISRO Chandrayaan 2

Chandrayaan-2 mission was described as one of the most complex ever undertaken by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Chandryaan-2 was going to be carried to its designated orbit by ISRO’s most powerful launcher 640-tonne GSLV MK-III or “Bahubali”, a three-stage vehicle which is capable of launching 4-tonne class of satellites to the Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) in the space.

It was planned that 973.7 seconds after lift-off from Sriharikota, Chandryaan-2, carrying with it the Lander-Vikram and the Moon Rover-Pragyaan, will get separated from the rocket and head to the south pole of the Moon. The journey of Chadrayaan 2 is expected to take nearly two months (54 days) from the launch date. The distance between the earth and the moon is calculated to be about 3.844 lakh km, and the lander-orbiter separation will take place on the 50th day of the journey.
The Lander named Vikram is designed to make a soft landing on the Moon after the vessel reaches the Moon’s Surface and then the Rover, Pragyaan will then roll out to carry out the designated experiments. The landing of the lander Vikram was planned between two of the craters on the Moon and the rover Pragyaan, to travel up to 0.5 km at a speed of one centimeter per second and to communicate with the lander.
The rover will utilize solar energy for its functioning. All the important components of the modules of Chandrayaan-2 were manufactured by Union government-run center in the capital city of Odisha, Bhubaneswar. These components include seven specific assemblies for navigation and inertial momentum of the orbiter in addition to the limbs of the rover ‘Pragyaan’ have also been manufactured by the center at Bhubaneswar. The center had started manufacturing the Chandrayaan-2’s parts in March 2017. In a statement to the media, ISRO said that through the launch of Chandrayaan-2, the space agency aimed to improve the understanding of the Moon, which could lead to discoveries that will benefit our country India and humanity as a whole.

The Decision To Call Off

ISRO officials claimed that every one of the thirteen modules had its own set of scientific experiments and objectives. The lander and rover will only be functional for fourteen days or one lunar day whereas the Orbiter will continue its mission for a year. If everything goes according to plan, the lander will touchdown near the South Pole of the Moon on 6 September 2019.

Former Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) scientist Ravi Gupta gave the decision to call off Monday’s launch of the second lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 and said that it was done at the right time before the occurrence of any big mishap with the vessel.

Chandrayaan 2, the successor to ISRO’s Chandrayaan 1 mission that confirmed the presence of water on the moon – a landmark achievement – was scheduled to spend 14 Earth days checking for more water reserves on the Moon but due to the cancellation of the mission, it is postponed till further notice.

What Now?

Apart from its disheartening tweet announcing that the Chandrayaan-2 mission has been called off, for now, the Indian Space Research Organisation has also not said much about what happens next.

However, a report by the news agency Indo-Asian News Service (IANS), said that the space agency will now focus on investigating what went wrong on the GSLV Mk-III and will soon provide a new launch date.

Significantly, the problem was observed on board the Rocket and not the Chandrayaan-2 payload, which means that the entire mission is not currently in jeopardy and will surely take a slightly long time to be rectified.

ISRO’s Public Relations Officer (PRO) Guruprasad said the revised launch date will be announced sooner. Till then let us wait for the announcements of ISRO. Keep connected with us to be updated with the latest and trending news every day. Hope to see you soon.

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